Spread of COVID-19 in SEE and Turkey

The spread of the new coronavirus COVID-19 in Southeast European countries is as follows:

Slovenia

Population 2.094 million (2019); 23654 USD per capita (IMF 2017); HDI (United Nations Human Development Index) – 0.896 (very high)

As of 03.04, 25000 coronavirus tests (1000 per day) were performed in Slovenia, and 934 infected were found which are being treated. 20 people have died (2.1%). The medical authorities apply the large-scale testing method and consider the situation to be under control.

Croatia

Population 4.154 million (2017); 13138 USD per capita (IMF 2017); HDI – 0.896 (very high).

As of 04.04, 9833 coronavirus tests were performed in Croatia, identifying 1126 coronavirus cases. 12 people have died (1.1%). Authorities manage to keep the situation under control.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Population 3.531 million (2013); 5149 USD per capita (IMF 2017); HDI – 0.735 (high)

As of 04.04, 617 people with coronavirus were detected in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 19 people have died (3.1%). The country lacks virus detection tests and protective clothing for medical personnel. The head of the crisis staff says the situation is very worrying but there is still no cause for panic.

Montenegro

Population 631 219 people (Jan 2020); 7647 USD per capita (IMF 2017); HDI – 0.814 (very high)

As of 04.04, there are 201 coronavirus cases in Montenegro that are undergoing treatment. 2 people have died (1%). Authorities say they are keeping the situation under control.

Republic of North Macedonia

Population 2.077 million (2019); 5474 USD per capita (IMF 2017); HDI – 0.740 (high)

As of 04.04, 483 coronavirus cases were found in Republic of North Macedonia. 17 people have died (3.6%). Most affected are the capital Skopje (221) and Kumanovo (93). The situation is thought to be worrying as newly discovered cases are increasing proportionally and the death rate is also high. The country lacks tests and safeguards.

Kosovo

Population 1.831 million (2017); 3880 USD per capita (IMF 2017); HDI – 0.734 (high)

As of 04.04 Kosovo have performed 1743 coronavirus tests, detecting 135 coronavirus cases. So far, only 1 deceased person (0.7%) is reported. 16 people were healed. In the midst of the political crisis in the country, the government has limited powers following the no-confidence vote. The healthcare system is in dire need of tests and protective clothing. No humanitarian aid has been reported.

Serbia

Population 7.022 million (2017); 5899 USD per capita (IMF 2017); HDI – 0.769 (high)

As of 04.04, 9833 coronavirus tests were performed in Serbia with 1624 coronavirus cases being identified for treatment. 44 people have died (2.7%). A team of Chinese doctors has been working in Serbia since mid-March, applying the mass testing method. Despite the most stringent measures implemented by the Serbian government and extensive humanitarian aid, local doctors are surprised that the epidemic is expanding.

Albania

Population 2.877 million (2017); 4583 USD per capita (IMF 2017); HDI – 0.749 (high)

As of 04.04, 304 people with coronavirus were detected in Albania. 16 people have died (5.3%). The country is also in dire need of tests, protective equipment and disinfectants.

Romania

Population 19.402 million (2019); 10757 USD per capita (IMF 2017); HDI – 0.811 (very high)

As of 04.04, 3183 coronavirus cases were found in Romania. 122 people have died (3.8%)

Bulgaria

Population 7.000 million (2018); 8064 USD per capita (IMF 2017); HDI – 0.813 (very high)

As of 04.04 Bulgaria, 15899 coronavirus tests were performed and 522 cases were found. 18 people (3.4%) have died, and 37 have completely recovered. Bulgaria is among the leading countries in tests and mobilization among the population to comply with restrictive measures. Expectations for dealing with the epidemic are optimistic.

Greece

Population 10.074 million (2018); 18637 USD per capita (IMF 2017); HDI – 0.870 (very high)

As of 03.04, 1415 coronavirus cases were found in Greece. 57 people have died (4%). There are ill persons among the migrants that have arrived from Turkey. The Greek government has succeeded in isolating them in refugee camps in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Turkey

Population: 80.81 million (2018); 10863 USD per capita (IMF 2017); HDI – 0.722 (high)

As of 04.04, 20921coronavirus cases were detected in Turkey. 425 people (2%) have died. Censorship of the coronavirus situation has been imposed in the country.

It can be concluded that unlike the most affected states and countries in Western Europe, the epidemiological situation in the SEE is not too alarming and the situation is being kept under control by the governments. In some countries in the Western Balkans, such as Kosovo, Albania, BiH and Republic of North Macedonia there is a severe shortage of coronavirus tests resulting in few people being covered by the studies which distorts the real picture of the epidemic. Deficiency is also observed in protective equipment – masks and protective clothing, as well as respirators for more severe cases.

There seems to be some delay on the part of the EU on aid to the SEE countries. On the other hand, Serbia is experiencing something like a competition for who to deliver more humanitarian aid. It received help consisting of respirators, masks, protective clothing, disinfectants, etc., from China, UAE, EU and mostly from Russia – 8 Antonov aircraft with aid have landed at the Bataynitsa military airfield from the beginning of April to 04.04.

The analysis is based on data from the IMF, the UN, national statistical institutes, national crisis headquarters for the coronavirus and the electronic media.

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